Tax sales in Mississippi, are held once a year, either on the first Monday in April, or the last Monday in August, as the local taxing authority decides. Investors range from large banks and financial institutions to small investors who may spend less than a hundred dollars. Almost anyone can attend the sale. It is held in the form of an auction and offers an investor a return of 1½ percent per month for up to 25 months. While there are a few drawbacks, it probably offers one of the best investments available. There is almost no chance of loss of principal, and the interest rate is quite satisfactory.
Many people have heard that it is possible to buy properties at the tax sale that become yours. This is both true and false. As a rule, over 95 percent of the parcels are redeemed and all that the investor receives is the interest, which of course is not bad. There remain those other few percent. Sometimes a very nice property may make it all the way through the tax sale process. Mostly though, those that are not redeemed, are of less than the most desirable. Still, they do usually have a value greater than the original investment.
There are few requirements, and almost anyone can bid. In fact, it is even possible to have someone bid for you if you are unable to attend the sale. Many people hire someone to bid for them at more than one sale. Some companies have had dozens of bidders at sales across the state.
Unlike most so-called investments, this one is suitable for almost any economic climate. When times are flush, there are simply less parcels that sell, or they may be redeemed a little sooner. Yet the interest rate remains the same. In more difficult conditions, the parcels are not redeemed as fast, and more parcels may sell each year. In fact, in the more stringent investment climate prevalent today, a guaranteed rate of eighteen percent per year does not sound bad. Of course, it is also more likely that some parcels will not be redeemed, thus giving the investor a windfall.
Whatever your investment goals, the tax sales held in Mississippi and other states can offer one of the best investment opportunities for the astute investor. For more information about the complete process and how it works in Mississippi, there is no better source than my book, ‘An Introduction to the Mississippi Tax Sale,’ available from amazon.com or createspace.com /3365416 (where I get a better royalty). It has been read by hundreds of investors, Tax Assessors, Tax Collectors, Chancery Clerks, attorneys, bankers, and others. As one Tax Collector said to the crowd during the tax sale, "If you are going to buy at the tax sale, you need to have this book."